“The soul, like the body, hardens with pain.” A demonically deep statement, as such an entrance into the intricate, strange, symbiotic and subversive world of Boramy Viguier – the Parisian-based designer whose design constellation enters the holistic and healing as much as a convergence of technical meets tailoring. Boramy Viguier is a brand charting a near-spiritual mentorship at its core. “It is natural for me to be inspired by mystic, religious, sacred references, however, I can’t really explain why. I like to confront myself to subjects that are greater than me.”
Whilst the symbolic is something central to Viguier’s brand, this is not to say the actual design focus has been waylaid. Quite the contrary. We see a brand presenting a confident eye able to merge expert cuts with an otherworldly vision to ignite a design aesthetic like no other. Having trained under Lucas Ossendrijver at Lanvin, Viguier began to explore the strange nuances of the bigger mystifying questions of the universe through design. The fascination with the sacred and profane seems to stem from a quest for something bigger than the self. Does he feel that there are no unturned rocks in creativity anymore? “I think the world is lacking mythology and fantasy. We live in an environment that doesn’t include much mysticism. An environment that likes to quantify everything. Success through income, fame; through followers on social media,” Viguier explains. “We want to understand everything: why are you doing this and that? What is the reason for this and that? What is the concept? I prefer mystery and un-rationality.”
The designer’s first foray into fashion began whilst working for the Paris gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin, where he met people that were working for Balenciaga at the time. Through this almighty exposure to the heart of high fashion, it was then that Viguier knew he wanted to do the same job. Although he had applied to Central Saint Martins, Lucas Ossendrijver, who was heading up menswear at Lanvin, hired Viguier to assist him – so the budding designer left school. Spending so much time with a menswear visionary like Ossendrijver must have imbued a huge sense of creative knowledge and foresight: a mapping mentally of where the future of design is headed. How does the designer see the future of menswear? “I think the challenge for menswear designers and fashion designers in general, is to propose clothing and style that is more artisanal, less universal, less global, more local, more aggressive, less pop, more nervous… This is what interests me. A more tragic style. The demystified world as it is, doesn’t make me smile.”
The growth of Viguier’s creative experience did not stem directly from fashion, but rather from the world of art and the history of design. “I have always been really into clothing, looks from the movies I use to watch, old antique and medieval garments in museums… It was an interest very much independent from the industry. I became aware very late that there were such things called fashion shows and fashion weeks.” Viguier established his brand in Paris in 2018, after five years at Lanvin, with a focus on precise conviction in construction. In two short years, the designer has earnt spots in both the finals of the ANDAM and semi-finals of the LVMH prize, and is stocked at esteemed retailers globally – including Browns, Ssense and Matches Fashion. With everything created domestically, Viguier emphasises the importance of connectivity between his own studio and the artisanal history of France. “Local values are to me, more now than ever, the master values. I am not interested in sending toiles and explanations through DHL to a factory, I want to talk to technicians,” he says.
They say the greatest way to feel sublime is to feel small; comparing oneself to the feat of nature, and all its mystic beauty. It feels like a sensation that lingers within the designs of Viguier, that by exploring the bigger questions it incurs a mannerism of soul searching that results in his quest cut in cloth. Asking what was the last thing that made him excited, the designer shows us how sometimes you need to stand at the foothills of the past and take it all in: “[The last time I felt excited was when] I was visiting last week one of the factories I work with in the middle of the mountains, with old sleeping volcanos in the centre of France, surrounded by farms and 12th century abbeys. I like to make, even a business visit, a trippy and melancholic experience.” The future of menswear is at an unknown yet ultimately exciting crossroads. While there are no wrong turns, to stand still is to die. With the likes of Boramy cultivating new visions and perspectives, as well as carrying the conversation outside of the very walls of fashion, there is still an exciting horizon ahead.
by Isabella Davey